Depending on who you speak to, Elon Musk and Tim Cook has their own version of the history that relates Tesla and Apple. In 2016, Musk claimed to have reached out to Cook exploring possibiity of Apple acquiring Tesla, but Cook gave cold shoulders and didn’t see value in investing time in the discussion related to the acquisition possibilities. Cook, on the other hand, claims to have never spoken to Musk.
Now, Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins has a new book out next month, titled as “Power Play: Tesla Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century“. It recounts a heated conversation between Musk and Cook about the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla.
According to a Los Angeles Times review, Musk and Cook were reportedly talking on the phone about Tesla’s unveiling and the difficulties that came with it. Cook suggested that Apple purchase Tesla.
Musk was interested in the proposition but only on one condition: He should be the names as CEO of Apple, not Tesla. Cook replied with the ‘F word’ and reportedly hung up immediately.
When Musk asked that he wanted to be the CEO, Cook first believed Musk meant that he wanted to be CEO of Tesla and not CEO of Apple.
Cook agreed as Apple did the similar deal with the founders of Beats which Apple acquired in 2014.
Realising that Cook is mistaken, Musk, clarified:
No, Apple. Apple CEO.
When asked in a recent interview about his relationship with Musk, Tim Cook explained that while he’s “never spoken to Elon,” he has “great admiration and respect” for Tesla. Apple has also employed a lot of Tesla employees over the years for its ambitious Apple Car project which is apparently progressing at a slow speed due to various obstacles. Musk once called Apple the “Tesla graveyard”. “
Apple is in the midst of its efforts to build an electric car of some sort, which presumably would compete directly with Tesla. While it would be interesting to see if Apple could ever give Tesla run for its money, it’s more fascinating to imagine how Apple would have today has Tim agreed to Musk!